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Honoring the AncestorsAn African Cultural Interpretation of Black Religion and Literature$
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Donald H. Matthews

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199963997

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199963997.001.0001

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The Spirituals

The Spirituals

An African Cultural Narrative Theology

(p.135) Six The Spirituals
Honoring the Ancestors

Donald H. Matthews

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the African American spirituals within the context of an African cultural narrative theology. It first sketches the historical development of African American spiritual theology, with particular emphasis on European Christianity's influence on African American religion. It then cites Nate Shaw's autobiography, All God's Dangers: The Life of Nate Shaw, to illustrate the complex dialectical relationship between the religious and the political aspects of black life. It also explores the cultural and psychological dialectic of the religious philosophy of African Americans.

Keywords:   African American spirituals, theology, spiritual theology, European Christianity, African American religion, Nate Shaw, All God's Dangers, black life, religious philosophy, African Americans

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